HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County is now taking its hardest stance ever on littering.
Now, if someone is caught in the act, they'll be on the hook for huge fines, community service and even jail time.
On Tuesday night, Horry County Council approved a resolution eliminating warnings on litter violations. If police catch someone littering, they automatically write a ticket instead of giving a warning.
The offender will face the maximum penalty, which in Horry County can be up to $1,068.
"We're not asking for a large amount of change here," said Councilman Al Allen, the man who proposed the idea. "We're just asking you to comply with the law, and to do what's decent."
Allen said it's about time something was done about the litter problem, noting that over the past year the county has paid $300,000 to clean up litter, yet its litter index got worse.
"Four percent of the population is littering, and the rest of us are either picking it up, or paying for its pick up," he said.
Keep Horry County Beautiful Chairman Bo Ives welcomes the new resolution and hopes the bold statement by council will make litterers think twice.
Ives also hopes the new stance resonates higher up the chain.
"This is huge because it gets across to the magistrates how important our council thinks it is. It gets across to the populous (that) this is a warning, and this is the only warning you'll get," Ives said.
Allen does admit catching someone in the act of littering is a rare thing for police, so he wants everyone to pitch in.
He said if a person sees someone else throwing trash on the side of the road, they should take a picture of them with their phone and shame them on social media.